How Literacy Is Changing In Schools Around The World

There are so many children around the world who don’t have access quality education. Either they lack schooling altogether, or what they do have access to is insufficient to help them gain the basic skills needed for success in today global society. We’re not even talking about digital literacy here, which continues to gain importance in its own right, but just the basic ability to read and write. If you can’t read or write,  your chances of being able to find and maintain sufficient employment are quite poor. Getting students in school – particularly girls – is a huge focus of many organizations, but there are also many that focus on increasing global literacy.

Education and Skills 2.0: New Targets and Innovative Approaches, is a book from the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Education and Skills. The book discusses some of the many organizations and programs that focus on increasing literacy. and the Global Agenda Council have teamed up to create the handy infographic below to highlight some of the key initiatives of these organizations. Keep reading to learn more about these organizations and what they do!

Boosting Global Literacy

These are just some of the organizations that are working to increase literacy around the globe. Maybe you’ve heard of some of them, maybe others will be new to you, but what they’re doing is so important. Take a few moments to check them out.


Focuses on students in (mostly rural) India, where less than half of the children in grade 5 can read a grade 2 text. Pratham is an NGO that started in 2005, and is available to more than 700,000 children in about 15,000 villages.


LAMP is an acronym for Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Program. The program assesses the quality of literacy on a continuum of age groups in Afghanistan, India, El Salvador, Jordan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Palestine, Paraguay and Vietnam. LAMP encourages the participating countries to evaluate their citizen’s literacy to help determine what may be necessary to improve it.

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and PlanetRead

In India, this non-profit – academic partnership leverages the popularity of Bollywood, music, and subtitling technology to bring mass literacy exposure to citizens. Subtitles on mainstream television makes literacy exposure unavoidable and automatic. The regular reading practice helps those who don’t otherwise have formal education.


In Jordan, this program is a collaboration between Dr. Curt Rhodes and the Jordanian Ministry of Education. It is a non formal education program offering school dropouts alternative pathways to vocational programs to help them gain skills and sufficient employment to sustain themselves.


In South Africa, Yoza launched in 2009 with an aim to use mobile smartphone technology as a way to bring literacy to wider audiences. While 51% of households don’t own any books and only 7% of schools have a library, 100% of the population has access to smartphones, making them a logical medium for widespread literacy exposure.


In 8 countries in West Africa, this non formal education program employs social networking and community involvement to spur meaningful social change. It reaches adolescents and adults with little access to formal education and is led by individuals with the same ethnic and language background as those they are working with.

BBC Janala

The Bangladeshi government and the UK’s Department for International Development run this joint collaboration to reach 24 million English language learners via a multi-platform, self-directed learning initiative for those with little or no English language background. It aims to break down any cultural, financial and psychological barriers to learning English while making it fun.